Newport family mourns dog killed during burglary

Newport family mourns dog killed during burglary


6 News Anchor

NEWPORT (WATE) - The Christmas tree is up, but there is a certain sadness at the LaForce home in Newport.

The family is heartbroken after the brutal death of their dog Simon during a burglary November 28.

Tonia LaForce, her husband and four kids loved the 11 pound terrier mix they adopted from a family member in January.

But it was 8-year-old Carly who had a special bond with Simon.

"Carly won out,"Tonia LaForce said. "She would go get him and say, "You're sleeping with me.'"

Now, Simon is gone. Tonia LaForce made the devastating discovery that afternoon.

"He was beside the refrigerator, in the corner," LaForce said. "He was in a pool of blood around his head. I ran out of the house just screaming."

According to the Newport Police Department incident report, someone kicked in the kitchen door, killed Simon, ransacked the master bedroom and made off with thousands of dollars worth of guns, electronics and prescription medications.

"There's over $5,000 missing," LaForce said. "Would I rather have that? No, I'd rather have Simon back."

The family is getting some comfort from the outpouring of support from the community and beyond, and through the Facebook page they created called "Justice for Simon."

There are so many messages of support and prayer, along with outrage.

"It has been totally overwhelming. (Messages) from people I don't even know that are giving their love and support and want these creeps found," LaForce said.

Along with emotional support, a Newport Animal Shelter worker has offered a reward. Robert Brannon is offering $1,000 of his own money for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.  Brannon also said they will give the LaForces a new dog free of charge when they are ready.

Tonia LaForce said they do plan to get another dog once they are ready.

"Simon was loved," she said. "He had a short life, but he was loved. It's been hard without him."

6 News reporter Alexis Zotos contributed to this story.

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